We Wish You a Mandy Christmas review: Diane Morgan’s hapless comedy character gets full Scrooge

The eponymous heroine of Diane Morgan’s sitcom, the hardworking, hapless but lovable Mandy, is usually not subjected to prolonged soul-searching. She wavers from incident to incident, skillfully avoiding gainful employment and putting herself in unexpected and delicate situations. For We wish you a Mandy Christmas, however, she reprizes the role of Scrooge for a one-off party episode ahead of the new series, which begins in January.

Mandy, dressed in a blue furry sweater and with her mop of blonde hair piled on top of her head, isn’t a big fan of the holiday season. “It’s Christmas as usual for me. i will just watch Die hard and get fucked in the ass on Tia Maria, ”she tells her beautician friend Lola (Michelle Greenidge).

Lola, a big Christmas fan, doesn’t have that. (Her dog takes the Tiny Tim gig.) She gives Mandy a high-tech doorbell as a gift, which ends up summoning the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future to show Mandy the error of her cheating ways.

Christmas Past is a translucent Johnny Vegas, who takes Mandy back to her childhood. She sees her childhood being offered a cup full of mints. The Christmas Present (Pearce Quigley) is able to walk through the doors but still rings, for good manners, before flying Mandy through the air.

But the most entertaining ghost is the upcoming Christmas ghost. “You look like John Cooper Clarke,” Mandy says. “I understand a lot,” the ghost replies, as he is played by poet John Cooper Clarke. His nervous charisma animates the final act, as he and Mandy sit together in church and watch his poorly attended funeral. Her future self died in a steamroller accident, which makes for a good visual gag on the coffin. As Mandy and Lola dance around Lola’s house drinking Kylie Minogue’s rosé, the Christmas spirit is alive and well.

Morgan is excellent, as usual. She has become one of the most consistent comedic actors on television, her presence is always a sign that humor will be on the menu. She’s a master of the blank askance, and she knows exactly how to deploy those unmistakably rounded Bolton vowels to maximum effect. Not just in there, but also as Philomena Cunk and single Liz in Mother land. Mandy sits somewhere in between these two characters, with a bit of endless Cunk misunderstanding but part of Liz’s pragmatic approach to life.

The series is an underrated, charming and funny gem in 15 minute chunks, with a high density of gags and a strong supporting cast. The Christmas special, although it is three minutes longer than a typical episode, is not the best place to start, but it is a strong curtain raiser for the upcoming series, where the writing will be. less limited by the strict structure of A Christmas Carol.

Considering the scarcity of schedules this year, we have to be thankful for the originality snippets where we can find them. And I also hope that there are still a lot of future Mandys to come.

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